The Project's Hamish Macdonald blasts rollout of rapid antigen tests: 'Total panic'

Hamish Macdonald has blasted the country's slow rollout of rapid antigen tests for Covid-19, as thousands of Aussies spent their Christmas break queuing for hours in huge lines for PCR tests.

The Project host pointed out the increased need for the tests, that can be done at home with results available in 15 minutes, over the Christmas period due to a rise in case numbers and travel requirements should have been something state governments planned for.

The Project host hamish macdonald
The Project host said it 'defies logic' that rapid antigen tests are only being ordered now. Photo: Channel 10

"The thing that is shocking to me is that this all seems to be taking our political leaders at state and federal level by surprise and it defies logic," Hamish said on Wednesday night.

"So Australians are left in the middle of their Christmas break kind of playing Hunger Games trying to get their hands on these things."

The journalist was also unimpressed by NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet's move to order 20 million rapid antigen testing kits that are expected to arrive by late January, saying tests should have been ordered as early as October.


Rapid antigen test kits are free in Victoria and the Northern Territory, but in NSW pharmacy shelves have been stripped bare.

In a subsequent interview with AnteoTech CEO Derek Thomson, Hamish revealed the Queensland-based company has pledged to provide millions of rapid antigen tests each year, but is still yet to be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

the project Hamish interview AnteoTech CEO Derek Thomson
Hamish interviewed AnteoTech CEO Derek Thomson. Photo: Channel 10

"Do you understand why it is that Australia now seems to be - at a government level - in this total panic about getting our hands on rapid antigen tests, when they've already been made available elsewhere in the world so easily?" Hamish asked.

"Well, I just think we're slow. You know, we've been critical of governments across Australia for not taking up rapid antigen testing earlier," was Mr Thomson's response.

Mr Thomson added that there is "a belief that the accuracy of rapid antigen testing is not high enough", even though the AnteoTech tests are 97 per cent clinically accurate and are already in use across the US and the UK.

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